“To live will be an awfully big adventure.”
Peter Pan said this, and much more, about the hardships of growing up. It’s no wonder that he opted not to. It is an undeniable truth that adulting is a hard and often unpleasant task. Is that perhaps why so many adults today suffer from Peter Pan syndrome?
We are a generation of children stuck in adult bodies with adult responsibilities. Perhaps that is why we cling so tightly to our youth. I personally spend hours playing my Nintendo Classic system and would prefer to do so over today’s Playstation or Xbox options. My desk is adorned with Lisa Frank stationary and I still wear T-shirts with Fraggle Rock on them. Is it so wrong to want to be an eternal child? Where do we draw the line between innocence and ignorance? Is this why our generation is failing at love? Are we all Peter Pan instead of Wendy?
Having an adult relationship comes with a lot of unpleasantries. We fight about important things like jobs, money, the future, housing, etc. Long gone are the days of relationships where the biggest fight you had was over where to have dinner or what movie to watch. Adult relationships can be draining. You are forced to deal with things. You are forced to adult; that is why so few people opt to have them.
This is not to say that adults are not out there dating. They sure are, but when the going gets tough, Peter Pan goes flying out the window. We are a generation that chooses to not deal with things. It is easier to exit stage left than stay on stage and fight the pirates. We swipe left or right. We ghost people. We leave.
What happens when Peter Pan finally meets Wendy? Wendy grew up. Can they ever have a successful adult relationship? While Wendy loves Peter, they are in different places in life; that rarely ends up working out. He is just another Lost Boy.
So how do Wendy and Peter make it work? Concessions. If they meet in the middle on things instead of remaining polar opposites, she won’t feel like she is constantly babysitting her boyfriend and he won’t feel like he is dating his mother.
Wendy needs to learn to have fun and Peter needs to learn to get serious. Maybe Peter needs to finally move out of mom’s house and start acting like a grown up. Maybe Wendy needs to stop spending so many late nights at the office. Whatever the resolution, they need to talk through things in order to make it work. They need to communicate like adults about their expectations.
You can’t successfully have an adult relationship if you are constantly flying out the window.
Growing up is hard. Untying the strings of immaturity can often leave our adult life in knots. But somewhere, in that place between sleep and awake, where the mature can be children and the immature adults, Peter Pan and Wendy will always find a way to make it work. It’s when we have to wake up and be adults that you need to ask yourself if you really want to remain a kid forever in Neverland.
Girl Talk began in 2012 as a telltale horror story of the city’s most epic dating disasters and has evolved into a column about love, life experiences and growing up. Melissa also has a weekly Girl Talk TV segment on PA Live and WBRE.